Bringing Papers to the Bench

 

 

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Many Mendeley users will already be familiar with Labfolder, the digital lab notebook that lets you organize your protocols and data. The good news is that all this functionality is now being integrated into Mendeley to bring scientific literature closer to the lab. This is why we invest so much on our open API, so that 3rd Party developers can integrate even more functionality right into the Mendeley platform. Here’s Florian Hauer to tell us how that works for Labfolder:

If you work in experimental sciences – biology, medicine, chemistry, physics or any other discipline where you do experiments in the lab – there are several reasons why you read scientific literature. The primary motivation might be to learn what other people did that relates to your research – and how they did it. Second, you want to know which papers describe the basis for your experiments, and you want to cite them correctly. Third, you would like to share useful papers with your colleagues.

Wouldn’t it be nice to have your scientific library right in your lab notebook, where you can search, read and cite all your papers of interest? We thought it would be – and that´s why we integrated Mendeley into Labfolder.

Like Mendeley, Labfolder is a free tool to make research easier, more organised, and more collaborative. Labfolder is a digital lab notebook which allows you to collect all primary research data on a digital platform instead of a paper notebook. With mobile apps for smart phones and tablets, you can collect data and take notes anywhere, and reusable and shareable protocol templates and group functions help you to exchange knowledge and speed up your research.

With this integration, we have made another step towards bringing scientific data from different sources closer together. With the Mendeley extension in Labfolder, you can:

  • Cite any publication from your Mendeley library directly in your experimental descriptions to track which literature you need to cite in your final paper
  • Download, integrate and view any paper from your Mendeley library in your protocol description to quickly look up details right in the experimental workflow
  • Upload your Labfolder experiments to Mendeley to attach them to publications and share them with colleagues.

Watch the video to see how it works

labfolder Mendeley integration from labfolder on Vimeo.

With the integration into Mendeley, it has become a lot easier to link experimental descriptions to scientific publications. Very often, the technical details of how a scientific discovery was achieved is heavily edited and compressed, making it very hard for researchers to extract the necessary information. Linking experimental descriptions and publications, and sharing these links as well as the detailed content will help enormously to bridge this gap.

With its recommendation engine, Mendeley offers a powerful tool to identify interesting content. It provides helpful navigation in the endless sea of data and content – for publications as well as for experimental descriptions – and helps researchers to find the data they need. Thus, Mendeley is an ideal platform for sharing experimental details: You can reach an interested audience and get credit for your research. To protect privacy, however, all Labfolder uploads are private by default and marked in Mendeley as ‘unpublished work’ so nothing will be shared until you are ready for it to be.

Sharing of scientific data is becoming more and more attractive: Apart from the fact that US researchers get credit for shared data in publications, studies have shown that scientists who share their data get cited more often.

We hope you enjoy the new features in Labfolder brought to you by Mendeley! If you have more great ideas about how to improve the use of scientific literature in Labfolder – or Labfolder itself – get in touch and let us know!

 

The New Mendeley for iPad and iPhone

We’re very proud to announce the release of the all new Mendeley for iOS. We’ve rebuilt the app from the ground up to make it fast, fluid and easier to use than ever before. It’s available today for FREE on the app store.

It’s been a long time coming.  We’ve listened to your feedback, and have taken our time to ensure that we’ve crafted a great product, that makes your research workflow quicker and much more efficient.

Features
  • Redesigned from the ground up to deliver the best possible mobile experience
  • Highlight important text and record your thoughts with sticky notes
  • Sync highlights and notes to Mendeley Desktop on Windows, Mac, or Linux
  • Sync wirelessly without interrupting your workflow
  • Easily tap-to-download full-text files
  • Fullscreen reading in any orientation
  • Explore papers related to the one you’re reading
  • Supports nested folders in your library and groups
  • Easily tag documents or add them to folders

Read More »

Mendeley Open Day 2013

Mendeley Cup

Here at Mendeley we’re always keen to talk to our community, get to know our users, and listen to their feedback so we can help make researcher’s lives easier. With that in mind we thought it would be great to open the doors of our London HQ to as many of you as we could comfortably and safely fit in for a day of activities and workshops, and (why not?) fun.

Apart from some top-secret entertainment involving Lego, post-it notes and maybe even some dressing up, there will be sneak previews and testing of new features, open forums with the Mendeley and Elsevier teams, and a chance to meet some of the 3rd party developers of apps like PLASMID.IO and Labfolder, who have used the Mendeley Open API to build some very cool tools for researchers.

We also know that many of you had some questions following Mendeley’s acquisition by Elsevier in April, so this is an opportunity to get to know some of the key people at Elsevier who are collaborating with us now, and to ask them those questions directly.

Unfortunately, our office is not that big, so we can only invite a few people. However, we do want to include everyone who wants to take part, and luckily we can do that through the magic of Social Media.

Our community and product teams will join the founders in talking about what the future looks like for Mendeley, but also, most importantly, to listen to you and answer your questions. So please don’t be shy and reach out via our Facebook page or Tweet using the hashtag #Mendeley on Tuesday the 12th June. You can ask questions and comment throughout the day, but there will also be an opportunity have a chat on Twitter with Mendeley’s Head of Community Outreach William Gunn (@mrgunn) and Director of Universal Access at Elsevier Alicia Wise (@wisealic).

If you are in London and would like to attend the event in person please register your interest here. If we can’t invite you this time around, we’ll definitely keep you in mind for future events!

So please put the date in your diary: Wednesday June 12th, from

11:30 – 17:30 London time

04:30 – 10:30 US West Coast

 Even if you can’t participate on the day, please post your questions and suggestions on the comments section below, Facebook, Twitter (#Mendeley), or email the community team. This is all about you so we’d love to hear your thoughts. There will also be a video showing you what we got up to on our YouTube channel and a roundup of the day’s highlights on this blog.

You can also read about the event on the Elsevier Connect website.

See you there!

The Mendeley Team

Mendeley and Elsevier – here’s more info

 

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Victor Henning, Mendeley Co-Founder, speaks at the ScienceBusiness Awards 2012 in Brussels (Photo by ScienceBusiness)

The news of Mendeley joining Elsevier made some waves last week.

On Twitter, with typical understatement, it was compared to the Rebel Alliance joining the Galactic Empire, to peasants posing as a human shield for Kim Jong-Un, and to Austin Powers teaming up with Dr Evil.

It’s true that, when I was 13, I played through X-Wingon my Amstrad 486 PC, then had fun playing an Empire pilot in the TIE Fighter sequel — and I’m also half Korean. So while my colleagues are busy mounting the frickin’ laser beams onto the heads of the sharks we brought in to replace our foosball table, I thought I would address some of the other concerns and questions that were raised.

What is the “real” reason for Elsevier acquiring Mendeley?

The question that emerged most frequently, sometimes in the tone of conspiratorial whispers, was about the “real” reason Elsevier acquired Mendeley. Surely there must be a man behind the curtain with a devious masterplan? Not quite. In my mind, it’s straightforward: Elsevier is in the business of providing scientific information to the academic community. In order to serve academics better, it acquired one of the best tools for managing and sharing scientific information. Elsevier can now provide its customers with solutions along the entire academic workflow: Content discovery & access, knowledge management & collaboration, and publication & dissemination. Mendeley provides the missing link in the middle, and brings Elsevier closer to its customers. This makes intuitive sense to me, and I hope you can see the rationale, too.

But what will Elsevier do with Mendeley’s data?

Some people voiced concerns that Elsevier wanted Mendeley’s data to clamp down on sharing or collaboration, sell the data on in a way that infringes our users’ privacy, or use it against them somehow. We will not do any of those things. Since the announcement, we have already upgraded our Mendeley Advisors to free Team Accounts, and are currently reviewing how we can make collaboration and sharing easier for everyone on Mendeley. Also, I want to be clear that we would never pass on our users’ personal data to third parties, or enable third parties to use our users’ data against them.

Of course, Mendeley’s data does have commercial value. Even before the Elsevier acquisition, Mendeley was “selling user data” — but in an aggregate, anonymized fashion – to university libraries: The Mendeley Institutional Edition (MIE) dashboard contains non-personal information about which journals are being read the most by an institution’s faculty and students. Librarians use this information to make better journal subscription decisions on behalf of their researchers, and more than 20 leading research institutions in North America, Europe, and Asia have signed up since its launch last summer.

Mendeley’s Open API also offers aggregate, anonymized usage data, though on a global rather than institutional basis. Mendeley gives this data away for free under a Creative Commons CC-BY license. It’s being used by tools like ImpactStory.org or Altmetrics.com, which are building business models around altmetrics data. Again, you could argue that Mendeley’s usage data is being “sold”, and even sold by third parties. However, as you can see, the general principle is that the data is used only for positive purposes, like analyzing research trends and scholarly impact, without violating the privacy of Mendeley users. That’s how we will keep it in the future, and this applies to any usage of the data by Elsevier or via our Open API.

So how will Elsevier make money off Mendeley?

The existing Mendeley offering will continue to be free, so that we can continue to grow our user base as we have in the past, and we will also integrate Mendeley into Elsevier’s existing offerings like ScienceDirect or Scopus to increase their value. This actually means that we’re now under less short term pressure to monetize Mendeley’s individual users. When we were an independent start-up, we had to think about charging for every new or additional feature, in order to get to break even. Now, we can think more about the long term again.

For example, this enabled us to double our users’ storage space for free immediately after the Elsevier announcement. We had previously also planned to make the sync of highlights & annotations in our forthcoming new iOS app a premium feature – today, we decided instead that it will be free for all users, and thus also free for all third-party app developers to implement. And, as mentioned above, we are currently reviewing our collaboration features to see if we can expand them for free, too.

Lastly, what does your new role in the strategy team at Elsevier mean in practice?

Along with the Elsevier news last week, it was announced that I would – in addition to my role at Mendeley – be joining the Elsevier strategy team as a VP of Strategy. A number of our users and Mendeley Advisors have asked what this will mean in practice, and how my input would be taken onboard.

I’ve been in Amsterdam this week to meet some of my new colleagues and exchange ideas — it’s been genuinely enjoyable and inspiring, so we’re off to a very promising start. I’ve been asked to support them in sharing not just Mendeley’s features, but also Mendeley’s experiences and user-centric values with the Elsevier organization, and to keep pushing the ideas that have made Mendeley successful. Conversely, I will also work on how to best bring Elsevier’s tools, data, and content onto the Mendeley development roadmap and into our users’ daily workflow.

We’re not short of amazing ideas, and you have shared some really exciting suggestions with us as well – the challenge will be to pick the best ones and actually get them done. As always, we will be listening closely to your feedback on how to improve our products and set our development roadmap. Watch this space!

 

Team Mendeley is joining Elsevier. Good things are about to happen!

Today we are excited to announce that Mendeley is joining Elsevier!

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You might already have heard some rumors and speculation about this in the past few weeks. We hope you’ll understand that we couldn’t address the rumors head-on until there was some actual news to share with you. Now that the union is official, we would like to take some time to explain how it will benefit Mendeley’s and Elsevier’s users, the research community in general, as well as address some of the questions you may have.

The most important things first: very little will change for you as a Mendeley user. In fact, Mendeley is only going to get better for you. For starters, we are doubling everyone’s storage space at no cost. Your free Mendeley account now comes with 2GB, Mendeley Plus and MIE accounts get upgraded to 5GB, and Mendeley Pro accounts to 10GB. There will always be a free version of Mendeley, and our functionality will continue to improve, now even faster than before. We will focus on what has made Mendeley a success in the first place: ensuring that everything we do makes our users’ lives easier and listening closely to your needs. Your data will still be owned by you, we will continue to support standard and open data formats for import and export to ensure that data portability, and – as explained recently – we will invest heavily in our Open API, which will further evolve as a treasure trove of openly licensed research data. Our vision continues to be to make science more collaborative and open, and now we will work towards this vision with the support of the world’s largest science publisher.

Elsevier’s resources, partnerships, and reach in the academic, library, and professional community will enable us to accelerate our progress towards our vision. Our team will expand significantly over the next few years. Elsevier’s Scopus and ScienceDirect platforms will become seamlessly interoperable with Mendeley, creating a central discovery, workflow, and collaboration network for the global research community. Here’s Elsevier’s comments about what they expect from the partnership.

On a more personal note, let me also explain why we chose to team up with Elsevier at this point. Mendeley had just raised a significant round of funding from existing and new investors, with more investors wanting to join. Also, Mendeley’s revenues from our individual and team premium accounts, as well as our new Mendeley Institutional Edition, had tripled over the past year. We could have continued on our path independently, yet we felt that the opportunity to give our users access to better content, more data, and faster development was just too exciting to pass up.

Of course, we are aware that – especially in the past year – the academic community has criticized Elsevier for some of its policies and positions. Our own relationship with Elsevier has been conflicted at times. Elsevier is a multi-faceted company with over 7000 employees, so it is impossible to put them into a single box. We were being challenged by some parts of the organization over whether we intended to undermine journal publishers (which was never the case), while other parts of the organization were building successful working relationships with us and even helped to promote Mendeley.

For example, when Elsevier decided to shut down its social bookmarking service, the 2collab team collaborated with us to build a data import tool, then recommended their users to migrate to us, the upstart competitor. When we co-hosted (together with Nature Publishing Group and the British Library) the Science Online London Conference to talk about Open Science, Elsevier was one of our first sponsors. And when we launched our Open API, Elsevier was the first major publisher to embrace our data and build a Mendeley Readership App for their application platform.

Time and time again, Elsevier struck us as one of the most innovative and tech-savvy publishers out there. They have launched challenges to make research papers more interactive and useful, improve the process and incentives of peer review, and build knowledge discovery and visualization tools for the life sciences. They provide tools for exploring and unearthing connections between researchers and contribute to the ORCID author profile initiative. Like us, the Elsevier Labs team is researching semantics, taxonomies, natural language processing, data visualization, and big data analytics. Lastly, Elsevier’s applications platform mirrors our own ambition of enabling developers to create unique new research tools.

Elsevier is a large, complex organization – to say the least! While not all of its moves or business models have been universally embraced, it is also a hugely relevant, dynamic force in global publishing and research. More importantly, we have found that the individual team members – the employees, editors, innovators, and tool developers we’ve worked with – all share our genuine desire to advance science. This is why we’re thrilled to join Elsevier and help shape its future.

In sum, the overlap between Elsevier’s and our vision has always been remarkable. Combining Elsevier’s content, analytics tools, and long-standing publisher/society relationships with Mendeley’s collaboration platform and social data will enable both of us to develop amazing new services that will make your research life easier.

I know you’ll have a lot of questions, so please find some additional information here. If you’re still skeptical about whether this will be a good thing for you as a user, we hope to convince you by our actions over the next few weeks and months. Good things are about to happen!

Thank you for all of your support, and thanks especially to our incredible team of Mendeley Advisors!

Jan, Paul, Victor, and Team Mendeley

On the future of our Open API: feature updates and eating our own dog food

There have been a few guiding principles that have directed the progress and business strategy of Mendeley from the very beginning, and chief among these is our mission to make research more collaborative and open. We want to build a bridge to a more modern way of using the web for scholarly communication.

To that end, we’ve been hard at work lately improving our Open API, as it’s a critical part of our strategy. We currently serve more than 100 million API calls per month to about 260 third-party apps. In addition, our API powers the analytics dashboard of the Mendeley Institutional Edition, and powers the Institutional Repository sync via Symplectics Elements. We hope to see the numbers of client applications grow, and to that end, we’ve made some fundamental changes to the API. Our overall goal is to further open up our data and extend third-party developers’ capabilities, so here’s a summary of recent and upcoming changes:Read More »

Day 4: Binary Battle Contest App Entries

This is the fourth and final part announcing the top 40-ish Apps entered into the Mendeley-PLoS Binary Battle. To see the first batch of apps, check out Day One. And Day Two with the second batch is here. And Day Three is here.

As a reminder, the top 10 apps will be announced in two weeks and the overall winners will be announced November 30th

Now, in order of entry received date, the final batch of apps to benefit science: Read More »